Broker Check

Casualty of Online Fraud?

December 07, 2020

There may not be an easy way to protect your digital identity but there are steps you can take to thwart criminals. Freezing your credit, updating software on your devices, staying knowledgeable about the latest scams, making sure your passwords are hyper-secure and backing up your data regularly will all lessen your chances for compromising your personal, online information. Sometimes that’s still not enough. If you have reason to believe you’ve been the victim of a cybercrime or identity theft, here are some crucial steps you should take:

Alert the company where the fraud has occurred.

Immediately change your password for all online accounts.

Close any compromised credit or debit cards.

File a police report so you can provide it to banks, creditors, businesses or credit bureaus as evidence of the crime.

If your data has been compromised by a corporate data breach, look for instructions on what to do next from the business or agency whose data was breached.

Contact one of the three credit bureaus to put a fraud alert on your credit report to stop any more from happening.

Once you’ve taken the actions above, you should also report it to the following agencies:

Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) - They refer each internet-related criminal complaint to the appropriate state, local, federal or international law enforcement.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - They share complaints to the right law enforcement partners, as well as provide you with next steps to take. - They accept complaints regarding any online scams that deal with foreign companies.

Department of Justice (DOJ) - They help you report to the proper agencies based on the scope of all internet-, intellectual property- and computer-related crimes.

Not only will these steps help you get things squared away but they can potentially assist authorities in their investigations to stop criminals from taking advantage of others as well.